PET and the Brain

If you are experiencing memory loss, and/or have a family history of Alzheimer’s Disease, the FDG Brain PET Scan could help determine if you have Alzheimer’s Disease. Early detection and treatment can help slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Until this scan was available, the only definitive way of knowing if a person had Alzheimer’s Disease was by an autopsy. Many doctors have been treating patients with medications used to treat Alzheimer’s Disease, without the benefit of knowing definitively if that patient really has Alzheimer’s Disease. Using these medications may not be beneficial to patients, and, in some cases, could be detrimental to their health. This scan will give the information needed for doctors to make appropriate treatment decisions.

FDG, a radioactive diagnostic agent for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging of the brain, is used to analyze brain glucose metabolism. FDG-PET has been proven to be a promising diagnostic modality to detect functional brain changes in Alzheimer’s Disease. This modality could also assist to differentiate Alzheimer’s Disease from other causes of dementia. Diagnosing and staging are vital for doctors to prescribe the appropriate pharmaceutical treatments and therapies to slow the progression of these diseases. If we can slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease, we can give patients and their families the time to plan ahead and to spend quality time with their loved ones.

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